"I am an invisible man. No, I am not a spook like those who haunted Edgar Allan Poe; nor am I one of your Hollywood-movie ectoplasms. I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids--and I might even be said to possess a mind. I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me."

 - Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man"

George Washington and Venus

Painting of George Washington

A painting of George Washington, the first president of the United States. He was born in 1732 and died in 1799 with supposedly no issue. The Ford family oral history relays a different story...

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A Young George Washington

A painting of a young George Washington around 25 years of age. The world into which George Washington was born in 1732 was a comfortable one and wholly dependent on the "peculiar...

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George Washington

George Washington (from private collection LABH).

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Martha Washington

Martha Washington (from private collection of  LABH)

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Venus

Venus was a handmaid on the Bushfield Plantation.  Bushfield was owed by John Augustine Washington, a brother of George Washington.  As a child, Venus' mother, Jenny, was the...

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Mount Vernon Plantation 1937

A 1937 painting of the Mount Vernon Mansion (from the MVLA).  George Washington's father, Augustine Washington, built the home in 1734. George's older brother, Lawrence lived at...

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List of Slaves owned by John Augustine, page 1

This is a two-page list of slaves owned by John Augustine, the master of Venus. The document is dated March 1783.  Venus was a housemaid on the Bushfield Plantation and her mother, Jenny,...

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Page 2 List of Slaves by J. A. Washington, 1783

Venus and her mother (Jenny) names appear below. MLV put in the writing next to the names. Data from the MVLA.

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George Washington, older

A painting of George Washington around the age of 60. In the Ford oral history, the father of the country was also the father of West Ford and a slave named Venus. For almost 56 years,...

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Old Tomb George Washington

Photo of Linda at the old tomb of George Washington on the Mount Vernon plantation. There are two family tombs located at Mount Vernon. The "old tomb" was the original family crypt,...

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2nd Sketch of West Ford

This is a drawing from an unnamed source of an older West Ford from the Ford Archives. Ford again signed his name at the bottom of the sketch. West Ford's name is more than a signature; he...

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John A. and Hannah Washington

Paintings of John A. and Hannah Washington from the archives MLVA.

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West Ford in Ornate Frame at Mount Vernon

This is the original drawing of West Ford in an ornate frame from the archives of the MVLA.  Linda Allen B. Hollis took the photo while during research on the family's legacy. ...

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Bushfield Plantation 1937

Photo of the Bushfield Plantation, 1937 from Archives of MVLA.

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Martha Washington Painting

Painting of an older Martha Washington from the Archives of MVLA.

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